As we start a new year we might feel encouraged to wipe the slate clean and start some new good practice or end a bad one – the proverbial “New Year’s Resolution.” This always sounds like a great idea and people start with good intentions but the vast majority of resolutions have been abandoned by the end of January.
I think the concept of a “resolution” is the first barrier to success. The idea that this word brings to mind for most people is that if you break your resolution just once, then you have failed so there is no point in continuing. A second problem with most New Year’s Resolutions is that we often set the bar too high.
Here’s a New Year’s Resolution everyone can get behind – 5 extra minutes of activity with your pet every day.
For dog owners this could take the form of a quick leash walk outside or a game of chase outside or even inside. For cat caregivers using a laser pointer or interactive toy works well. My own indoor cats have also enjoyed safe walks outside controlled by this comfy harness.
Just a little extra activity on a regular basis can improve the health of both your pet and you. Exercise burns off calories while you are doing it. In addition the resulting increase in muscle mass triggers your metabolism to continue to burn extra calories. Of course this applies to our pets as well.
Your pet’s health is in your hands (and feet). I invite you to take the momentum of the New Year and channel it into an activity that will benefit both you and your pet. Be gentle on yourself. Expect that it will not happen quite as you had hoped. If you forget for a day or 2, no big deal, just start over. Challenge yourself to see how many days in a row you can do it. This is a game you can play all year long until activity becomes a good habit for life.
Have a Happy New Year!
Do you have a better idea for a New Year’s Resolution?